salty insomnia

it was a quarter past midnight

and everything spoke in the rain.

 

the trees, the windows,

the roof

all murmured softly

 

and the girl lying under the sheets

listened.

 

insomnia-riddled and morning-

crushed, she searched the darkness for

dreams she could only have while awake

and the monsters under her bed

whispered hush,

so she pressed a hand against her lips

and tried to stop her lungs from crackling

too loudly.

 

evanescent snippets of sleep left her drained,

itchy, lost

as though the rain had washed the rest of the world away

while her eyes were closed

and she had been left alone.

 

when she gave up on sleep entirely

[as she did every night]

she went to the kitchen and sprinkled salt

on her tongue.

it tasted like the sea they had swum in together;

like the soup he had tried to cook;

like the tears she hadn’t been able to cry

since the nurse had pulled the sheets over his head

in the frozen hospital room

 

so she carried the salt back to [t]he[i]r bed

and curled up on his pillow.

 

the trees, the windows,

the roof

all murmured softly

 

and the girl lying under the sheets

listened.

 

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beautiful melancholy

the dreams left a bitter aftertaste

that stained my day

like smoke making eyes water

long after the fire is put out.

 

sometimes i miss riding on trains,

i think,

when things were simple

and all i had to pay attention to

was the voice naming stations,

and all i had to listen to

was the clang of metal on metal

and all i had to look at

were the fields blurring in the windows

like the watercolor paintings i did as a kid.

 

because it was easier then,

traveling at a hundred miles-per-hour,

surrounded by suitcases

and people who averted their eyes and

turned up their ipods.

i think my DNA could have unraveled,

my atoms disintegrated,

my hipbones snapped and my spine shattered until

i turned into a pile of stardust,

and no one would have even glanced up;

i could have drifted out the window

into the mess of fields and sky without anyone

even

noticing

and this thought filled me with a beautiful sort of melancholy

that would last throughout the day.

 

but i don’t ride the train anymore.

i’m just a mess of tangled sinews and broken bones

instead of stardust

and the beautiful melancholy has left me with nothing

but a bitter aftertaste that stains my days

like smoke making eyes water

long after the fire is put out.